Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:
“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall call his name Immanuel”
(which means, God with us). When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.
Comment: Joseph, we are told, was a man of excellent character. When he heard the gossip about his betrothed Mary being pregnant and knowing that he was not the father, no doubt checked the truth of the matter and then planned to quietly, somehow or other, deal with the problem. But he received the answer in an unusual manner. While tossing his options over he is suddenly face to face with an angel. No doubt a religious man, but still no doubt startled by what he is told, and I suspect recognizing the details that he heard as coming from Isaiah ch 7 v 14, he was prepared to do as he was bidden. I suspect not only prepared to, but delighted to, obey and be part of the coming of the promised Messiah. Nevertheless he would still have to live with the scandal and gossip whispered wherever he went. There was not a ‘list of suitable names’ from which the baby’s name was chosen. It was ‘Jesus‘ – God’s choice!
Prayer: Help me to be as steady in doing what You call me to do, my Heavenly Father.